Horton Shines in USA Basketball Camp

On the day of his return from a gold medal performance at the USA Basketball Youth Developmental Camp, DevilsDigest caught up with elite 2004 recruiting class point guard Jason Horton, for this exclusive Q&A session.

DevilsDigest: How did things go at the USA Basketball Youth Developmental Camp? We heard that your South team won the championship, going 4-1 at the event?

Jason Horton: "It was a good introduction to USA Basketball, and I enjoy playing with a lot of people. I enjoy playing with other great players, and there were a lot of them there, so it was a real good experience."

DD: We were following the tournament and the box scores, and you were able to go head-up against some of the great guards in the 2004 class. What did you think about some of the competition?

JH: "They played good, all of them played hard, all of them are good players in their own right. It was a real challenge and something that will only make you a better player."

DD: Was that the best competition you've had, as far as going up against guys your own age:

JH: "Yeah, I would say as far as guys my own age it was."

DD: Everyone talks about the altitude up there (Colorado Springs is at 6500 feet). Was that a big deal for you?

JH: "It was kind of hard because the air is real thin up there. Just a couple trips up the floor and you're breathing real hard. Usually at home you'd just be getting warmed up by then, so it was kind of hard adjusting to that. But I think I did well."

DD: Going into the final game you were shooting 50% from the three-point line, and also averaging around 6 or 7 assists per game. On paper it seems like a great performance. What'd you think about the way you played at the event?

JH: "I think I played pretty good. All I was trying to do was just run the team. I knew we had plenty of people who could score. Every team had a lot of people who could score- but I knew our team wouldn't be that good if I did a lot of shooting, so I just tried to come down (the court) and set my big men up, just get the team going, and be a leader."

DD: The last couple of months have been extremely hectic for you. You were at the TOC (Tournament of Champions) in North Carolina, the NBA Developmental Camp in Virginia, the Pangos Camp in Los Angeles, and then you've also made unofficial visits to Arizona State, Florida and Arkansas. What has that experience been like as far as the travel and the grind of the process?

JH: "It's been crazy. I've been pushed for time so much. But what really hurt me was not being able to get my SAT scores, so I could take my officials (visits). That kind of slowed everything down, so I had to take the time and make sure to go see some of the places that I needed to see. So it has been kind of hectic, but it's been fun at the same time!"

DD: Your father told us that you were possibly going to take the SAT exam while you were at the Florida camp on June 7th. So, you weren't able to take it?

JH: "No, I wasn't. It was kind of a funny story. At first, I had my ID with me at the airport and then I got to Florida, and on Friday night I was getting my paperwork together, so I could go and take the SAT and then I wake up Saturday morning and I couldn't find my ID, so I couldn't take the test, and I haven't found my ID since then."

DD: So, you'll take it in the fall?

JH: "Yeah, I think I'll do really good on it."

DD: Obviously, Florida recently got a commitment from Taurean Green. How did that situation unfold and what did you think of the experience at Florida?

JH: "It was a good experience. Coach Donovan and the other coaches there put in a lot of time with their players and stuff, and I knew they had to get a point guard. I wasn't ready to commit, and I guess Green was, so they got him. It ain't a knock against him, they'll be real good next season, so I wish them luck."

DD: On your way home from the Pangos event in Los Angeles you stopped at the Tempe and the campus of Arizona State. What were your thoughts on that visit?

JH: "I liked the campus a lot. It was much more than I thought it was going to be, and it really took me by surprise. I really liked it."

DD: You know all of the guys from Texas, like Ike Diogu, Allen Morrill and Chris Low. Is playing with them something you're considering?

JH: "Yeah, I'm considering them (ASU) most definitely. You always want to play with guys where you know their game and they know your game, so that would be pretty good."

DD: One of the guys you're friends with in Texas is (fellow 2004 recruit) Marshall Brown. We know he's looking at Missouri and you're also looking at Missouri. Have you had some conversations about possibly playing with him (in college) and what are some of your thoughts on that?

JH: "Maybe, I mean, we both are looking at Missouri, so maybe we'll both end up teammates. We're pretty tight, so even if we don't end up teammates [it'll be OK]."

DD: What about some of the guys currently on the Missouri squad. Do you know any of them, or did you just meet them when you visited there unofficially?

JH: "Yeah, I just got to meet them when I went up there. I don't really know them."

DD: So are you going to be going at the ABCD camp this year (July 6-11 on the campus of Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey)?

JH: "Yeah, I'm looking forward to that. That's where the best, elite point guards are going to be, so hopefully I'll do well."

DD: And what about the Big Time (Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22-26)?

JH: "I should be at the Big Time, but I'm not sure which (AAU) team I'll be playing on yet."

DD: There was a report on-line recently that said you might be visiting Kansas unofficially this week…?

JH: "I only have one day, so if I'm going to go, it will have to be tomorrow (Monday, June 30th). So I'm still not sure even now [if I'll go]."

DD: So, Kansas is still one of the schools you're considering?

JH: "Right."

DD: There's been a lot of speculation surrounding your recruitment and your list. Just recently there was an article on the USABasketball.com website that said you were down to three schools and that Michigan was one of them? Was that accurate?

JH: "I said Kansas, Missouri and Arizona State."

DD: So, Kansas, Missouri and Arizona State are your three leaders at this point?

JH: "Yeah"

DD: What about Arkansas? Is that school still a possibility?

JH: "Yeah, it's still a possibility."

DD: As far as a timetable for a decision, your dad had mentioned in an earlier interview (with DevilsDigest) it might be decided by next month? Is that still the case?

JH: "Maybe this coming month, but I'm not rushing it thought. When I feel comfortable enough, when I'm ready to make the decision - I'll make the decision."

DD: Other than the people you know at the various schools and the coaches, will there be any other primary determining factors for you?

JH: "Maybe…well, no, not really. Wherever I go I just want to feel like I'm going to fit in and get better as a person as well as a player."

DD: Do you have any idea what you wan to major in?

JH: "No, not really. I did want to, or I was thinking about accounting or maybe sports management."

DD: Jason, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule…

JH: "No problem, thank you."

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